Platz Am Meer shopping centre. Picture: SUPPLIED
Platz Am Meer shopping centre. Picture: SUPPLIED

Safari Investments, which owns malls in towns and semi-urban areas, said on Wednesday that healthy rental escalations and new properties helped boost revenue by more than a quarter in the six months to end-September.

Safari’s eight centres lie largely in semi-urban areas, which tend to be rural areas that have a developed, urbanised town centre.

Revenue rose 26% to R159m, although headline earnings per share (HEPS) fell 20% to 28.02c. During the period, the company saw new income-generating properties join its portfolio, including the Thornhill Shopping Centre in Polokwane, and Nkomo Village Shopping Centre in Atteridgeville.

Distribution per share rose 7.7% to 24c, while net asset value (NAV) per share fell 12% to 721c. The company’s SA property portfolio saw a 5.79% escalation in gross rentals.

Safari also owns Namibia’s Platz Am Meer, a mall that serves tourists who visit Swakopmund’s beachfront.

Safari has left its distribution guidance for the full-year of between 48c and 52c unchanged, which represents a fall of between 24% and 29%.

The company warned, however, that it may face further corporate action expenses in its second half, as the unsolicited cash offer process from Comprop was not finalised by the end of the period.

Comprop, which is part of Futuregrowth Asset Management, made a R1.8bn cash bid for Safari in July to counter a share swap offer by mall owner Fairvest, who later withdrew its offer.

Safari turned down Comprop’s offer, saying an independent board appointed to communicate with Comprop was unable to reach an agreement with the group on certain legal and commercial aspects of the proposal, including cost recovery should the scheme fail.

Safari’s share price was unchanged at R4.31 at 11am on Wednesday, having fallen 6.3% so far in 2019.

With Alistair Anderson

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za